You’re in your doctor’s office. They tell you they’ve found the answer to why you feel nauseous so often, why you’re in the bathroom so often, why you’re always thirsty.
You have diabetes.
It’s not what you expected and it leaves you feeling shattered. That’s understandable. Any serious diagnosis will do that, especially one for a disease that will affect how you live the rest of your life.
You’ll have to start taking insulin, change your diet, test your blood sugar, shop for shoes for diabetics. You’re facing some huge changes, but they aren’t insurmountable. Here are a few ways you can tackle diabetes head on.
1. Take a look at your insurance plan
Does your health plan cover all the supplies and medications? This is the time to find out. You should also see if your insurance will cover visits to professionals that can help you control your illness, such as dieticians or nutritionists.
2. Assemble your team
You can’t tackle diabetes by yourself. Regular doctor visits will help you learn how to reach and maintain your ideal blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
And your doctor will be able to point you to other health care professionals, such as a dietician, who can help you create your meal plan. More on that later.
3. Be diligent about medication
When people hear the words “diabetes” and “drugs,” they typically think “insulin.” But for most people with type 2 diabetes, one of the first drugs you’ll take is a medication called metformin, which is designed to bring your blood sugar level under control.
4. Stick to your meal plan
Being diagnosed with diabetes will mean making changes to what you eat. Fats and carbohydrates will need to take a back seat from now on, as carbs can raise your blood sugar and fats can make your cholesterol levels higher.
We’re not saying you’ll have to eat kale or spinach three times a day. A good diet means reducing your portion sizes, cutting out saturated fat and trans fat and drinking unsweetened beverages in lieu of soda or other sugary drinks.
Finally, you might want to consider keeping a food diary. It will let you track what you eat each day and spot which foods caused the largest effect on your blood sugar.
5. Do routine screenings
By “screenings,” we mean more than just regular blood sugar checks (although those are obviously very important). Diabetes affects other parts of your body. For example, you’ll probably be seeing a lot more of the local podiatrist – we’ll get to the connection between diabetes and foot health in the next section – along with your optometrist. Also, it’s not a bad idea to get a yearly screening for kidney disease.
Like we said above, living with diabetes means paying more attention to foot care than the average person. That’s because diabetes leads to a loss of sensation in your extremities. Wounds on your feet won’t heal as quickly, and you may not feel them when they happen.
That’s why it’s important to wear good fitting shoes for diabetics and comfortable diabetic socks, inspect your feet every day and treat foot wounds immediately.
Be sure to read the blog post we published in 2017 for a more complete list of diabetic foot care tips.
7. Get out and exercise
When you have diabetes, working out five days a week for half an hour each day can help you lose a few pounds and – more importantly – improve your blood sugar.
It doesn’t have to mean training for a marathon. Just take up a moderate form of exercise, like swimming or walking.
8. Keep positive
No one is saying that a diabetes diagnosis isn’t scary. It’s an illness that’s going to alter the way you live. But you don’t have to go it alone. You have friends and family, your health care professionals and even diabetes support groups in your community or online.
Marx Medical is here to help as well. We offer a wide variety of shoes for diabetics and work with a companies like Dr. Comfort, APEX and Propet which all offer shoes designed to work for each customer. Contact us today or visit our store at 2814 East Allegheny Ave.
Philadelphia, PA to browse our selection of shoes for diabetics and to find out how we can help you tackle diabetes.